Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is officially heading to Washington next year as the newest addition to President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet.
Trump announced Wednesday morning that he wants Perry to head the Department of Energy, pointing to Perry’s economic success in Texas as to why he thinks Perry is best fit for the job.
“He comes from a state where energy is King, whether it be wind, oil, gas or electric production,” former Perry Chief of Staff Ray Sullivan said. “Perry created huge numbers of jobs, huge energy production and at the same time reduced air pollution. So, it’s a win win if you are interested in all of the above, a job creating energy program, Rick Perry knows how to get that done.”
Trump has said multiple times that the environment will be a focus during his administration. Sullivan says Perry’s background in Texas, one of the nation’s largest energy-producing states, makes Perry the obvious pick to help lead the nation.
“Having the energy experience and knowing the players will help him do his job effectively. He has proven here in Texas that he is willing to take tough stands, and he has not made all of his supporters happy over the years,” Sullivan said. “It has resulted though in a very successful state, a very limited government state, but the biggest job creator and the biggest energy state in the country.”
Kent Hance, former U.S. Congressman and longtime friend of Perry, says if Donald Trump wants to “Make America Great Again”, he needs strong Texans in his inner circle.
“I think Governor Perry’s appointment to the Secretary of Energy is a great appointment,” Hance said. “He’ll do well. You know, he took Texas from being one of the last as far as wind engineering is concerned and made it one of the top.”
Perry is the second Texan Trump has tapped this week. On Tuesday Trump announced his decision to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
“This is a great appointment by President-elect Trump because Condoleezza Rice, Bob Gates, Jimmy Baker, all three have been Secretary of State and they recommend Tillerson highly,” Hance said. “This guy is qualified.”
Governor Greg Abbott also congratulated his predecessor on the new position.
“Rick Perry was instrumental in creating a more favorable regulatory environment for the energy industry in Texas, and I have no doubt that he will bring that same expertise to his new post,” Abbott said in a statement released on Wednesday morning. “The State of Texas looks forward to working with him to help advance America’s energy sector to create a more robust economy and greater opportunity for all Americans.”
Perry is the third Texan to hold the title of Energy Secretary.